Sun Dog Becomes Life Arises Farm

We’ve taken a big, deep breath as soft rain drops saturate our tin roof in place of the accumulating snowflakes that had been the norm for several months.  The farm is starting to come to life within the context of the great awakening happening in the forests and river basins of this northern region. From the loft of my tiny house I can look out and see the buds breaking-the neon tinges of greens and reds sparkling from the branches of recently dormant beings.  

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The grass has finally returned to a rich and hopeful green itself and we are realizing how imperative it is to invest once again in a lawn mower or maybe some sheep. Our little pond that was actually dry when Elliot arrived on the landscape in the fall has returned to its vernal, abundant glory with frog and salamander eggs tucked into grasses like stacks of galaxies.  The Spring Peepers greet us with their notes as we spend our evenings continuing to transform sod into soft, amended beds destined to hold our crops.

Sun Dog Farm has undergone a metamorphosis and has come out on the other side as Life Arises Farm. Our transition to this new state and property has brought us many gifts and of course many challenges.  Starting over has become a way of life for us in a sense and this newest endeavor calls upon all of the wisdom that has become a part of us through our relationships to landscapes, wildlife, elders, and ourselves.  As the Eastern Bluebirds land on the tiny arms of our newly planted apple trees, I do my best to be here now. The mud season has had an extended stay and there are many things I am eager to change about how our homestead operates, but this very moment in time is so special and will be tucked into the part of my heart that sips on nostalgia, forever.  

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Like the calm before the storm, our greenhouse has populated with beautiful, vital diversity and the quiet nature of our winter lives is on the brink of change.  The extended coolness of this Spring has timed out perfectly with later than normal seedlings that got pushed back as we frantically finished our hoophouse. We celebrate the warming weather as it continues to bring life back to the ecologies of the soil who are busy digesting the carbon structures that dominated this former heifer pasture for years.  Our plans for the landscape continue to get spelled out and morphed and slowly a farm is being born from an open field on a dirt road. The first perennial designs are beginning to spiral down from the ledge where we nested through the winter and over an acre of garden space has been opened up.

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It was our thought, being in this brand new place, to start small and engage with the local community as much as we can.  Our produce and other offerings will be available for sale at two local markets this season and we are eager to meet the amazing community of people who support small, ecological agriculture in this region.  We will be at the Hardwick Farmers Market on Fridays from 3-6:00 PM starting on May 17th. Our other farmers market will be the Craftsbury Farmers Market on Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM starting on May 25th.  We will grow our typical mix of produce and flowers, herbs, and eventually some fruit will make its way onto our tables.

We are also very excited about the prospect of opening our farm up to organizations, schools, and universities interested in learning opportunities focused on agroecology, biodynamics, and organic production. It has been one of the great gifts of my life to share our journey working within nature with fellow seekers and we hope to connect to groups here in Vermont who share a deep sense of curiosity and awe surrounding natural rhythms. Other events may be born along the way and we encourage y’all to check in and see what’s growing on as we make our way through our first season on the land.

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When I think back to all of the successes and failures that have brought us to this enchanted piece of Earth, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for each lesson and stumbling block that prepared us for the road ahead. All of the ways we’ve been forced to learn and adapt, included in that the ways our hands in the soil have forced us to reconcile disharmony within our hearts and minds, have been necessary to bring this most recent romance with land into being.

Our modern world is so wrought with disconnection born from the systematic separation of humans from nature and we feel so much joy connecting to yet another community dedicated to transforming this linear, material mindset into future regeneration and abundance. So long as compost resurrects nutrients and seeds continue to hold the secrets of our Universe, there is hope to be had in this world.

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A loon flew overhead last night, singing her haunting song, and I could feel the roots sprouting from my feet go deeper.